Think twice before buying a magazine subscription from a teenager who comes to your front door, warns the San Diego Better Business Bureau (BBB). The same advice goes for solicitors of candy, cookies, cosmetics, asphalt paving, landscape clean-up and even steaks at discount prices.
The BBB said that summertime is high time for door-to-door sales reps peddling a variety of scams, including magazines that never arrive in the mail or meat of poor quality. Also, the BBB said landscapers have been known to canvas a neighborhood offering clean-up services, but after a deposit is paid in cash, they suddenly disappear. Consumers also report they have been scammed when asphalt workers supposedly with paving materials left over from a neighbor’s job use substandard products, including diluted motor oil.
Meanwhile, unsuspecting students can be duped by disreputable operators who drop them off in unfamiliar neighborhoods to sell overpriced magazines or other products, claiming that the proceeds will benefit a charity, a school trip or community youth organization. These junior sales people may be unaware they are actually collecting credit card information for their bosses for the purpose of identity theft.
The BBB recommends: be safe, ask for identification before you open the door and never invite the solicitor into your home; never give cash money and get the transaction details in writing, including a detailed contract or receipt with terms and conditions of the purchase; stand strong against high-pressure sales tactics and special offers meant to entice you; If you feel threatened by any door-to-door sales person, call 911.
Rick Griffin Marketing Communications is a full-service public relations, advertising and marketing firm.